Poker personalities at the tables

Playing poker online could mean you succumb to the anonymity of your opponent and therefore be unable to read their personality and get an insight into their strategy. This can ultimately hinder your performance, so we have come up with a guide of tell-tale signs for certain player personalities at online poker tables, because at the end of the day no one wants to be the fish of the table.

The big spender poker player

A poker player with too much money – it’s a common occurrence in both land-based and online play. It’s a decent player’s wet dream when they run into one of these guys. They will spend big, buying pots constantly and generally be loose in their tactics.

Also known as a whale, the big spender is generally found in specifically designed tournaments for high rollers, such as The Whale Tournament every Sunday at 888 Poker. Buy in is $530, and $200,000 is on offer. This tournament is exactly where you’d find the whales of the online poker world, without even having to look for their playing characteristics. If you want to see bigger action, this is the place to be.

You will have to monitor these types of players to see if it is a regular occurrence before confirming it is indeed someone you can take advantage of.

Signs: Only plays specific high roller tournaments, or caps the re-buy limit regularly, can sometimes be aggressive.

The chatty poker player

You will find there is generally a chat box on many online poker tables. This can actually come in handy to you if you notice a player complimenting your move or praising your hand, because while it may seem like an actual sentiment via text, it is indeed a bluff and they likely have a poor hand.

The chat box is a good tool to put off your opponents, but it is also a good tool to learn when a player is trying to put you off. Use the notes section online, or make a mental note if you are playing a live game. It’s surprising how often you will see patterns in the way people act on good hands.

Signs: Very chatty, quite complimentary.

The grinder: Here for a long time, not a good time

If you’ve spent a fair few stints at an online poker sites and have noticed there is just one user who never seems to leave you can be assured that this player either has a huge bankroll, or they are a grinder.

The grinder will sit their all day for a small profit. They won’t take unnecessary risks. They will steal the odd pot but can easily be pushed around if you are smart. The grinder will generally fold a lot and bet big when they have something. Take stock of this type of player and when they raise, unless you have a good hand, get the hell out of there pronto.

The big positive of playing with a grinder is they are predictable. But if you run into a grinder who knows what they are doing – watch out.

Signs: Always online when you enter a poker room, fold a lot.

The fish: The newbie poker player

We aren’t talking about a new player to a poker site, rather a new player to the game. This type of player is the most obvious to tell and it is all thanks to their bet size and how they play.

When a new player heads online, they are generally solo and have absolutely no idea what they’re doing nor do they have anyone to guide them. This means they will play poor hands, wager huge bets inconsistently, and even play hands when they should fold.

While a newbie can be good in terms of both an ego boost and your account balance, new players eventually get more experienced. So always remember: today’s new player could be tomorrow’s gun.

Signs: Regular rookie errors, inconsistent and high wagers after a loss, playing poor hands.

The maniac poker player

This player is almost self-explanatory but basically a maniac poker player is generally quite impulsive at the tables. They are aggressive, and can test you as a player. It’s important to keep your wits about you when you find yourself up against this type of player.

Play tight, fold a lot, wait for the good hand and lure them in. Often a big bet can scare these players off, so mix up your betting patterns and let them fall into a trap you have carefully planned.

Pro player Scott Seiver spoke a few years back about combatting the maniac:

Signs: Wagering aggressively, always ready to raise you.

By the book poker player

It’s a great place to start as a new player. Learn the basic strategy required to be competitive. Fold when you should. Play the game by your table position. For instance if you are under the gun and you are dealt K-3 unsuited you fold. As your skill level progresses you add more strings to your bow.

Interestingly, the by the book players are actually considered to be just one step above the newbie players as they know enough about the game they have scared themselves into never taking risks. That’s why you can easily learn how they plan to play, and easily beat them this way.

Signs: Low wagers, regular hands, never take risks.

The pro poker player

Pro poker players pay attention to detail, can adapt in all circumstances, do not rely on emotions, can vary their strategy in terms of their opponents and can ultimately bluff their way out of any situation.

Other than the odd player with too much money in big buy-in tournaments and many cash games you will find the pros. You need to play smartly to make an impact against this type of player.

Signs: Varies strategies depending on opponent, patient, adapt easily.